Friday, May 26, 2006

Why I celebrate Jerusalem Day.

I prayed davened at a school this morning where Jerusalem Day was celebrated. Hallel was sung, preceded by a blessing.

There has been a lot of controversy regarding whether a Jew should recite Hallel on Jerusalem Day, or Israel Independence Day. At one point I had become convinced that both the opponents of the practice and the supporters had very good arguments. What is a good frum Jew to do in such a situation? So I asked my rav.

He indicated that I was correct, that there were good arguments on both sides -- and that I could follow whichever position I wished to.

So why did I choose to say Hallel? It is a reminder that God is in charge. The annals of warfare are indeed full of hopelessly outnumbered armies that nevertheless prevailed. We could easily ascribe the Israeli victory in the six day war to human action alone. But as a Jew I insist that it was not ONLY the brilliant leadership and courageous fighting of the IDF that resulted in Jerusalem being liberated from the Jordanian government that had banned Jews for 19 years. It was a miracle. Yes, a miracle that occurred through natural means, just like the miracle of Purim. A miracle that occurred through Jews who were mostly not religious, just like Purim (Esther married a non-Jew!). This day is a reminder that we are all one people and a reminder that as a modern Jew I need to be conscious of God's presence in all aspects of life.


Anonymous malachai said...

I do believe in saying hallel on these days because it was clearly a day to show appreciation to God for the kindness he bestowed on us. However, i did not say hallel on yom haatzmiut this year because it is somewhat of a celebration of what was done by secularists, and i have lost all feeling for the secularists after they ethnicly cleansed the jews of gaza. I did not attend the yom hatazmiut celebration in shul this year, but I did attend the yom yerushalayim event, unfortunately they had a loser from the israeli consulate ruin it by speaking, and defending the current government. Yom yerushalayim, also yom gaza is more of a celebration of religious jewish israel, and it is now the main event. Israel will be a complete nation when the religious are a majority, and the country is run by those values (this can be done democratically), i hope to move their and help bring the day closer.

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Hamas Militants Storm Palestinian TV Facility

8:17 AM  

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